There are no umpires in local elections. Anthony Russo steals, and escapes punishment until after he loses. Chris Campos accuses Dawn Zimmer of being the cheater, and she has to go to the polls to prove who the public supports. The voters are judge and jury. In a democracy that's how it's supposed to work. And the system does work so long as voters participate, and so long as they're offered the facts. Participation in this crucial School Board election is your right and responsibility. Your part is to get informed and vote. My part, as a supporter of good government and great schools, is to offer you the facts I know. This letter is my chance. Thank you for reading it.
Carmelo Garcia's ticket is touting their support of the new Superintendent. But they won't give him the help he needs to clean up the mess they made. It was Carmelo Garcia and his allies -not Kids First - who spent the district into this financial mess. It was Jack Raslowsky's budget - not Kids First's budget - that proposed an estimated layoff of up to 39 of our best and brightest. After it was presented to the board and accepted, Finance Chair Tricia Snyder and the Kids First Board members worked with Raslowsky to cut administrative burden and get the number of layoffs down. Carmelo? He didn't make any suggestions, he simply voted NO. Let me say that again. Carmelo Garcia, whose happy grin appears over the slogan "Vote YES on the budget" in last week's Reporter, voted NO to on the budget. Two faces - one in private - one in public - and it's not an isolated case.
Take the vote to ban nepotism in hiring. Carmelo will likely soon boast of supporting the ban and technically he'll be right. He did vote for it - once. He also won't tell you that for months his ally Francis Rhodes-Kearns opposed the Abbott district mandated nepotism ban. He won't tell you he voted to give his brother a job and a raise, or how the nepotism policy - had it been in effect - would have blocked him from doing so. And he certainly won't tell you he was reprimanded by the State Board of Ethics for that vote, and censured for voting to award a $65,000 publicity contract to Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons - at the same time Carmelo was on Maurice's payroll. Two faces - one in private - one in public - it's a way of life, and sometime it works. In last week's paper, his team listed 20 good things they are going to do - and not one that they have done. Kids First, with only four votes out of nine, listed 12 good things they had done. Talk vs. Action. Appearance vs. Reality. Promise vs. Performance. On April 15th - Tax Day - YOU decide how your money is spent. I'll be proudly voting for the Kids First team - Phil Campbell, Brian Assadourian, and Tricia Snyder. That's 4-7-8. I urge you to do the same. It's time we saw the last of Carmelo Garcia's face on the Board of Education - both of them.
Hoboken Taxpayer and Hudson County Public School Graduate